The American Civil War And The Civil Rights Movement

901 WordsJul 24, 20154 Pages
he institution of slavery existed in the United States from the early 17th century until 1865. It existed in all the English mainland colonies and came to dominate agricultural production in all the states from south of Maryland (Piersen 1996: 21). Illustrating its commonality, eight of the first twelve presidents of the United States were slave owners (Piersen 1996: 24). However, the controversy over slavery was a hotly debated topic in American society, leading eventually to the American Civil War (1861-1865), which finally brought slavery to an end. After the emancipation, overcoming slavery 's legacy remained a crucial issue in American history, from Reconstruction following the war to the Civil Rights Movement a century later. The practice of slavery dates to prehistoric times, although its institutionalization probably first occurred in early historical times, when agricultural advances made possible more highly organized societies (Franklin, Moss 1994: 463). According to Frankin and Moss slaves were needed for various specialized functions in these societies and were obtained either through raids or conquests of other peoples or within the society itself, such as when some people sold themselves or their family members to pay debts or were enslaved as punishment for crimes. The coastal exploration of Africa and the invasion of North and South America by Europeans in the 15th century, and the subsequent colonization of the Americas during the next

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